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Help and advice for SELBY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1829.

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SELBY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1829.

"SELBY, anciently Seleby, or Olim Selebie, a bristling market-town, in the parish of its name, in the wapentake of Barkstone-Ash, and the liberty of St. Peter's, west riding, is 177 miles from London, 61 from Manchester, 14 from York and Thorne, 13 from Tadcaster, and 7 from Snaith. The town is seated on the river Ouse, over which is one of the completest timber bridges in the kingdom. It appears not to have been known or noticed in history, previous to the conquest, otherwise than as a convenient place for fishermen. In the year 1070 William the Conqueror erected a monastery for Benedictine monks, in memory of St. Germain, who quashed the Pelagian heresy, and having repaired thither with his consort to settle the endowment, she was delivered of a prince, who succeeded to the throne by the title of Henry 1. from which circumstance the town was endowed with many privileges, and has ever since derived great celebrity from its being the birth-place of one of our kings. The church of St. Germain is an elegant spacious pile, forming the principal part of the building now standing, and in which is discovered many traces of its former magnificence; the endless variety of its architecture, although in a state of decay, is beautiful beyond description. The windows contain numerous specimens of stained glass, and in the interior are many curious monuments. The tower fell down in the year 1690, and was rebuilt in its present shape in the year 1702: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the incumbency of the Rev. Jonathan Muncaster. The other places of worship are for the Wesleyan and primitive Methodists, Calvinists, Unitarians, Quakers and Catholics, who have each a chapel, and some of them have Sunday-schools attached. The other schools and charities are, a free grammar school, founded by Edward VI. brown and blue coat schools for boys, one for girls, 'Fosters' boy's school; the feoffees' school and almshouses; and charities dispensed by the feoffees, amounting to £200. per annum. The Hon. Edward Robert Petre is lord of the manor, and holds manorial courts at Michaelmas and Lady-day. A canal from Selby communicates with the Aire and Calder navigation, from which circumstance it has become the unloading port of the west riding, and since the invention of steam vessels has also become the principal thoroughfare to Hull, the river Ouse being so well adapted for vessels of this description. Previous to the establishment of these vessels, scarcely a stage coach was ever known to enter the town, but at this time there are no less than six; also a number of regular trading vessels to and from London and Hull, and an establishment of fly boats to Wakefield, Leeds, Manchester, &c. for the conveyance of goods brought by the steam packets, affording an expeditious intercourse of commerce between the manufacturing districts and Hull, long wanted. A branch custom-house is also established here, and vessels can now proceed from hence direct to any part of the kingdom, without the inconvenience of detention, to which they were formerly liable; and upwards of eight hundred vessels, with cargoes, clear coastwise from hence every year. The weekly market is on Monday; and the fairs are held on Easter Tuesday, Monday after June 22nd, and October 11th, for cattle; fairs for flax, &c. Tuesday before Candlemas-day, Tuesday before Old Lady-day, Tuesday before Whit-Sunday, Saturday before Old Michaelmas-day, Thursday before Old Martlemas, and Thursday before Christmas. The population of Selby, according to the returns for 1821, amounts to 4,097."

[Transcribed from Pigot's National Commericial Directory for 1828-29 ]
by Colin Hinson ©2007